Dr. Christine Blasey Ford made it clear this morning that she did not want to be here in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee, but had come because she felt it was her "civic duty." She made it clear that she had tried to send word about her allegations against Brett Kavanaugh while he was still on the shortlist of possible Supreme Court nominees, but she did not get anyone's attention until after Kavanaugh was announced as Trump's nominee. Most poignantly, she made it clear to senators how sexual trauma is stored in the mind, and how it manifests throughout a person's life following the trauma. She is an exceptional witness, occupying a dual role here: She is both the victim of the alleged assault and, as a researcher with PhD in psychology herself, an expert in how trauma operates on a scientific level.
At one point this morning, she was asked by Senator Patrick Leahy for her strongest memory of the encounter, and the following exchange ensued.
Dr. Ford: "Indelible in the hippocampus is the laughter. The uproarious laughter between the two and their having fun at my expense."
Sen. Leahy: "You've never forgotten that laughter, you've never forgetten them laughing at you."
Dr. Ford: "They were laughing with each other."
Sen. Leahy: "And you were the object of the laughter."
Dr. Ford: "I was underneath one of them while the two laughed. Two friends having a really good time with one another."
"Indelible in the hippocampus of the nation is the power of Christine Blasey Ford's testimony," Philip Gourevitch tweeted as it was happening.
Dr. Ford also introduced non-experts in trauma to the word "sequelae," which appears "frequently in psychological articles about survivors of trauma, particularly the trauma of sexual assault," USA Today says. It is the plural form of the word "sequela," which is a noun that means "an aftereffect of a disease, condition, or injury."
Even Chris Wallace over on Fox News was moved to say that Dr. Ford's testimony was "extremely credible."
Fox News' Chris Wallace at the first break in Dr. Christine Blasey Ford's testimony: Her testimony is "extremely emotional, extremely raw, and extremely credible," while cross-examination format "is a disaster for the Republicans." pic.twitter.com/fHy0rcwAV2
— Matthew Gertz (@MattGertz) September 27, 2018
The hearing is currently adjourned for lunch, but you can read the text of Dr. Ford's opening statement here and you can watch her deliver those remarks here:
You can watch her interact with Democrat senators as well as the "female assistant" (as Mitch McConnell put it) over here on this CSPAN page that CSPAN won't let me embed for some reason.
Because so much has been made of what Dr. Ford doesn't remember—Trump won't stop talking about how she isn't sure exactly what the date of the incident was—Democratic senators zeroed in on what she does remember.
They also brought up over and over again that there should be an FBI investigation, and today Dr. Ford added the detail that if Mark Judge, the other guy allegedly in the room and laughing at her with Kavanaugh, had been questioned by investigators about when he was employed at a certain Safeway (where she ran into him approximately six to eight weeks after the incident, and according to her testimony he turned white and looked sick) she would be able to pinpoint the date more specifically. But of course, Mark Judge is reportedly hiding out in a beachfront property somewhere, refusing to participate or answer questions.
Senator Klobuchar at one point asked Dr. Ford "what you don't forget about that night," and here is Dr. Ford's answer: